WINTER PARK’S NEW A-FRAME CLUB MARRIES VINTAGE SKI CULTURE WITH MODERN LUXURIES.
The A-frame shape is a midcentury classic. PHOTO: BY STEPHAN WERK
KYLE ZEPPELIN REMEMBERS what Colorado ski culture once was–and what it wasn’t. “A ski vacation just meant a cabin in the woods that opened up to the natural landscape with a turned-up party in the nearby saloon,” says Zeppelin, who spent the ’70s and ’80s in Breckenridge. “It wasn’t corporate.”
As president of Zeppelin Development, the firm known for revitalizing Denver neighborhoods like the River North Art District, Zeppelin wanted to bring back what he dubs the heyday of skiing. With the A-Frame Club (aframeclub.com), a boutique hotel surrounded by century-old pines near the base of Winter Park, he’s done exactly that.
Lofted bedrooms embrace the angular architecture. PHOTO: BY STEPHAN WERK
Opened in January 2023, the development features 31 two-story A-frames, each with 28-foot ceilings and kitchenettes. Wood-burning Malm fireplaces warm their 475 square feet, while Onsen-style soaking tubs, plush robes and high-thread-count sheets await to soothe ski-weary bodies. Noguchi lighting, Maharam rugs and Italian leather couches create a vintage alpine chalet aesthetic with lots of saturated natural tones of brown and green throughout. On the walls, classic Lange pinup posters and photos of Hunter S. Thompson, cigarette in hand, ooze old-school sex appeal. The cabins–all connected via a snowflake-shaped boardwalk that allows guests to “float” above the native grasses–sit in a tight honeycomb. But with patios opening up to glades or the Fraser River, each feels like a haven unto itself. And despite the name, you don’t need a membership to stay at the A-Frame Club.
The Saloon’s interior employs warm cedar wood and natural leathers. PHOTO: BY KYLIE FITTS
The Saloon, the property’s on-site restaurant, sits in a building that has functioned as a watering hole since miners dug out Moffat Tunnel in the 1920s. By après-o’clock, guests and locals gather to sip old fashioneds out of crystal rocks glasses. The evening’s menu features wood-fired, French-inspired fare, from country ham and Gruyere sliders to ratatouille.
Here guests are transported back to Zeppelin’s vision of what ski culture should be–and the hotel’s namesake framework is at the heart of it all. The A-frame, he says, is an architectural form that can change your perception of everything around it.